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Archive for October, 2007

more halloween fun stuff

Best. Costume. Ever.

More awesome costumes at Retrocrush.

This Is Halloween, from one of the best movies ever, Nightmare Before Christmas:

Ministry – Every Day is Halloween (from the album they refuse to recognize but which I consider new wave gold)

Watch Night of the Living Dead online.

Jack Chick tracts and Halloween

Ghost stories

If you’ve got any cool Halloween links, stories, whatever, share them.

Genni has some Halloween pics up. She makes an awesome Glinda.

The Barker’s Blog has some great Halloween content. Just click and scroll, scroll, scroll.

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it's just a beast under your bedHappy Halloween! My favorite day of the year is finally here. We’re having an office party today and a lot of my co-workers are dressing up. Me, I’m going as me. Had I read Kevin’s posts about last minute Halloween costumes earlier than this morning, I might have gone as Mr. Baked Potato Head.

Kids today are lucky. They have so much more to choose from, costume-wise than we did. They also have a better class of costumes. If you are anywhere near my age, surely you remember those plastic masks, the ones that left you a mere pinhole in which to breath fresh air. They were so tight against your face you could feel your own breath bouncing back at you every time you exhaled. And that cloying, synthetic smell entered every pore in your face so you smelled like plastic for the rest of the night. I used to wake up late on Halloween night gasping for air, thinking I still had that I Dream of Jeanie mask on.

In a way, Halloween was better back then. Despite the poorly constructed costumes, we had no fear. Oh sure, we had fear of ghosts and vampires and whatever else was supposed to be hauting us on Halloween, but we didn’t have fear of our own neighbors or fear of poisoned candy. We certainly didn’t have the fear of offending anyone that limits the costumes kids are allowed to wear to school today. We could be as bloody and gory as we wanted. We could be offensive in ways that would have the ACLU tackling you in the street in 2007; So we dressed up for Halloween as gypsies, Indians, mental patients, bums and hobos (the latter two later known as The Homeless or The Housing Deprived) and other stereotypical costumes. No one really paid attention to the fact that we might have been insulting someone because no one cared. And it wasn’t our intent to insult, it was our intent to just be someone else for a day. Halloween was about candy and dressing up and being scared. End of story.

Most of the boys at the time did the usual horror costumes: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and the proverbial white-sheeted ghost. They would jump out from behind the bushes and scare the girls and we would scream in exaggerated fright and run to the doorstep of the next house on the block.

We had parades at school and some of the kids would march around with fake, dripping blood and rubber masks with mutilated eyeballs. The goriness was all part of the fun. That’s what Halloween was for: shrieking and screaming through the neighborhood and finishing it off with a family viewing of Chiller Theater, munching on the candy loot while hanging onto Mom in fright.

But times have changed and we’ll have none of that gory, scary stuff anymore. Kids are vulnerable and impressionable, don’t you know? The blood might scare them. The costumes might offend someone. I mean, what if some kid in your school had his whole family murdered by a crazed ax-wielding monster? Don’t you think that costume would make him feel sad, Johnny?

But that was back in the innocent days of yore. Back before the razor blades in apples ruined Halloween for all of us. Hey, here’s a bit of trivia for you. Did you know that THERE WAS NEVER A RECORDED CASE OF A RAZOR BLADE IN AN APPLE ON HALLOWEEN? Yea. An urban legend set the tone for future years for this holiday.

Anyhow, if I were a kid today, I would be dressing up as Captain Underpants, just to piss off stuffy old principals who forget that part of being a kid is laughing at each other. Which begs the question (really, it does!):

If you were, today, a seven year old kid headed out for trick or treating, what would your costume be (taking into consideration what’s popular in the realm of mass commercialism in 2007)?

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dessert blogging: no bake pumpkin cheesecake

pumpkin cheesecake

This is the filling. I don’t have a pic of it in the actual pie shell, but that doesn’t matter. I just wanted to get the recipe out here in case you were looking for something quick, easy and delicious to make for tomorrow.

This recipe written by my friend Josh:

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (it rhymes, see what I did there?)

1 9" premade graham cracker pie crust (fuck it, make your own if you want, but I’m way too lazy)
1 lb cream cheese that you’ve let come to room temperature
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/3 c sugar
2 t lemon juice
1 1/2 c (12 oz) pumpkin pie mix

I’m going easy this week. Seriously. This pie is so awesome and no one needs to know how easy it really is. In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and the sugar. Beat these two together for a couple of minutes, until the cream cheese is light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and stir to incorporate. When that’s all mixed in, add the cream and beat till the mixture is nice and stiff (huhuhuhuh, I said stiff).

Take a quarter or so of the mixture, and put it to one side. Add the pumpkin pie mix to the remaining 3/4 of the batter. In the pie crust, add the plain batter and tap the pan lightly on the counter. This will even out the batter and get rid of any air bubbles. GENTLY pour the pumpkin batter on top of that, and do the tap trick again. This creates a nice multi-layered effect. Put this in the fridge overnight to let it set, and you’re done.

——–

The recipe made more filling than I needed. So I proceeded to eat the remains with a spoon. It was delicious.

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dinner blogging 2, electric bugaloo

chocolate chili

First, let me say that Monday night, I made Stingray‘s Parmesan Crusted chicken and it was fabulous. Everyone loved it. In fact, the kids ate it again tonight.

Tonight, we made Stacy‘s Chocolate Chili. I added some Rooster Sauce, which I basically add to everything. Don’t be put off by the combination of chocolate and chili. The chocolate has amazing, subtle flavors that blend well with the spices. It’s more like a chili mole. This was definitely the best tasting chili I have ever made.

Both these recipes were easy, tasty and appreciated. I’ll be using more of your recipes in the future, and most likely asking you for more.

I’m about to go have seconds. If Todd didn’t eat the remainder already.

And yes, we need a new set of dishes.

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1. Is Beck at that point in his career now when he can put out anything and people will buy it? It’s not that the new song isn’t catchy as hell, it’s just that there’s nothing to it. I love Beck, but sometimes I feel like he just makes songs that are nothing but hooks.
 
2. A lot of people who worshiped Nirvana back in the day don’t listen to them anymore. Me, I wasn’t a big fan in their biggest days, but I’ve grown to appreciate them as a band now. While I don’t think Cobain was any sort of musical god, he wrote some pretty good tunes. And anything that brought us Dave Grohl is a good thing. All this brought to you by “Drain You” which has recently become my favorite Nirvana song.
 
3. I had a short dream last night about my vinyl copy of Husker Du’s New Day Rising – something about opening up the album sleeve and finding it empty. So this morning I went into the garage to check on it. Yep, the album is still there. Which prompts me to send Todd an email at work begging him to hook up his turntable this weekend. I have the sudden urge to hear “unclean” music; all the beautiful, flawed pops and hisses and scratchiness that you get with vinyl. I miss that. I also miss shoving that little yellow disc into the middle of a 45 record, but I’m not going to break out my copy of I Think I Love You anytime soon. Though, I do have a 45 of the cover version of that song by Ism.  Think thrashy punk rock and an accordion solo. Awesome stuff.
 
4. Turns out the only Sublime songs I like are cover songs.
 
5. There really are some songs that make you want to wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
 
6. How can a song with the same chords and the same three words (sex and violence) repeated throughout be so good, even on repeated listens?
 
7. “Hello m’am would you be interested in some sexual positions and emotional investment?” is a great pick line. As is “the groom’s bride is whore.” Contextually, of course.
 
8. Here’s a challenge: Find a picture of the lead singer of Fall Out Boy without a hat on. Not the pretty boy make up wearing guy attention whore guy in the band, but the lead singer. Aside from a still from the Dance, Dance video, I’m convinced there is no photo of him not wearing a hat. Todd insists he’s bald underneath the cap. The daughter insists Todd is making shit up.
 
9. The Suicide Machines’ cover of I Never Promised You A Rose Garden makes me want to run through a field of flowers, spinning myself around until I’m dizzy and fall down in a bed of daisies.
 
10.  Justin Timberlake provides a nice balance sandwiched between Sepultura and Body Count.
 
I’m sure I’d have about 50 more random thoughts in the next hour, but you have suffered enough from reading my brain vomit.
 
 

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PSA

Cotton candy scented perfume is for 14 year old girls or whores who use it in lieu of bathing. Not for grown women working in a small, enclosed spaces with other people.
 
The more you know.
 
 

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damn the man, save the daylight

Once in a while you come across an article so stupid, so profoundly idiotic, that you have to check the URL a couple of time to make sure you’re not on some bad satire site. I did that last night and, after five URL checks, was still not convinced I could possibly be at real news site. Granted, it’s not the New York Times I’m looking at here but….still.

The article is titled A Time of Darkness. Intriguing enough. Could be about a lot of things. Let’s dig deeper and see what we have here.

It’s a trick, a treat or a “nightmare.”

The government changes time.

It’s an article about Daylight Savings Time. Ok, it’s that time of year. Lots of people will be writing about that subject.

For the first time ever, daylight-saving time was pushed back to the first Sunday in November this year. The sun won’t set till 7:30 p.m. on Halloween. In some places, it won’t rise until 7:30 a.m.

Well, yes. That’s the point. And that’s a good thing, right? For years, people have been complaining that putting DST ahead of Halloween was a stupid idea, giving children that much less daylight in which to do their trick or treating. Because we all know that in today’s America, children are precious little creatures who should not be allowed out after dark because there are predators lurking at every corner. But that’s for later. Let’s continue with this.

Area psychologists say it will also make us stressed, leave some depressed and possibly weaken our immune systems. And we might never recover.

Ah, I love fright journalism. Let’s take something really mundane and make it absolutely horrifying. Let’s play on the culture of fear in America and give the people what they want – something else to get hyped up about, something else to make them running for their Xanax. We’re talking about an extra hour in the day here, people. One hour. A little more sunlight in your life. Wasn’t there a big study a few years ago, when Seasonal Affective Disorder was all the rage, that said sunlight was a natural anti-depressant? And now some extra light in our day is going to make us sick?

Let’s visit an area person to hear their take on this monstrosity of time being forced upon us:

In short, it’s a “nightmare” for John Olson of Lower Southampton.

“The changing all of the clocks in my house, including the three wall clocks, stove, microwave, TV, TiVo, DVD player, VCR, clock radio, two wristwatches, two cars, two computers, two cell phones, the indoor and outdoor thermometer and clock, outdoor light timers and security system takes about two hours twice a year,” Olson said.

Not for nothing, John, but I do believe you are engaging in a little hyperbole there. First of all, your TiVo, computers and cell phones should be changing time on their own. And three wall clocks in addition to the other electronic clocks in the house seems a little excessive, no? Maybe you should cut down on those luxuries, John. Really, with at TiVo and a DVD player, what do you need a VCR for? I’m sure your 70’s porn collection is readily available on DVD. And no one ever sets their VCR clock, anyhow. As for this all taking two hours of your time to reset? You’re either retarded or exaggerating. Wait, there’s more from Mr. Olson:

“Let’s say some poor citizen gets it wrong and always sets his clock ahead. After about 12 years the government will have stolen a whole day from this unfortunate soul,”

Are you fucking kidding me? Not only is this the most ridiculous statement I’ve heard since Paris Hilton said the last thing she said, I can’t imagine why any journalist would take this quote and put it in his article, unless it was to quietly ridicule the person he interviewed. Or maybe the author is so furious with his employer for making him write this filler piece that he decided to make quotes up. Because this can’t be real. In case it is, I’ll spell it out for you, Mr. Olson: IF A PERSON GETS IT WRONG FOR 12 YEARS IN A ROW HE DESERVES TO HAVE THE TIME “STOLEN: FROM HIM. Not even a zombie would want the brain of that man.

Let’s now visit poor Debbie Shuster.

“I’m 49 years old and all my life Halloween has always been in the dark,” she said. “Now, the kids will be out trick-or-treating and the sun will still be up. The lights and decorations — you won’t even be able to see them. I’m going to have all these nice little pumpkins outside and people won’t even notice them,” she said.

So, it’s all about YOU, Debbie? Never mind that the little tykes get to enjoy trick or treating for an extra hour (as mentioned previously, children disappear in the dark). Debbie seems overly concerned with her pumpkins. Hey, you know what, Debbie? It will STILL get dark. People will STILL see your pumpkins. We’re not talking 30 days of light, here. Just shut up and go back to carving your adorable little pumpkins while your 72 cats keep you company.

Later on in the article, the author talks to a professional something or other:

“I can’t recommend people to stay in bed, when they have to get up for work,” she added. “If you’re sleep is screwed up, then I’d recommend more emphasis on exercise and nutritious meals.”

What’s wrong with this picture, dear readers? Come on, you see it. YOUR. YOUR. IF YOUR SLEEP IS SCREWED UP. Well, I can see I’m not dealing with a four star newspaper here. So maybe I should cut them some slack. If both the author and the copy editor let that gross miscarriage of grammar usage get by, I can’t expect much in the way of a decent story.

I ran out of things to make fun of, anyhow. The rest of the article was just psychobabble about how breathing affects your every day life. Or something like that. It doesn’t matter. The important thing here is that you are sufficiently worried about something else, now. Who cares if it’s nonsense? What does it matter if some wannabe J. Jonah Jameson told a fresh-faced young reporter to write something terrifying about Halloween and the reporter, being an anti-government kind of guy, made up a whole scenario about how the MAN is trying to steal your time, ruin your Halloween and force you to reprogram your VCR. This article is a call to arms for Bucks County, PA! Everyone revolt against the time change! IT WILL AFFECT THE ROOSTERS! WONT’ SOMEONE THINK OF THE ROOSTERS?

Listen, Mr. Author. We have enough crap to worry about. Enough stuff being shoved down our throats by the nightly news anchors who think that scaring people for Halloween means frightening naive parents into thinking their children are going to DIE. The costumes are flammable, there may be a sexual predator living next door to you, there are razor blades in apples and cyanide in Smarties and burning leaves give off toxic smoke. AND, little Johnny’s Freddy Kruger costume is offending to the delicate sensibilities of your neighbors, your celebration of a Pagan ritual is causing the little children next door to live in a hostile environment, your Halloween display is offensive to the real witches and how DARE you give out candy with peanuts in it? Don’t you know that there just might be some kid around here who is slightly allergic to nuts and his mother will sue your ass for handing out Reeses peanut butter cups?

I really think it’s the goal of the media, from Rupert Murdhoch’s empire right down to the Bucks County rag to suck the fun out of every damn thing that was ever enjoyable, while raising up the culture of fear.

Well, fuck you. I’m going to enjoy my Halloween. I’m going to wear a scary, gory costume and scare the bejesus out of little kids because they LIKE that. I’m going to hand out candy that will rot their teeth and laugh at the mothers who bring their kids trick or treating to the mall because it’s “safer” than going to the homes of the neighbors you live next to every single day of your lives. And I’m going to enjoy the hell out of the extra hour of sunlight and when I’m driving to work in the morning and it’s still dark out I’m going to put on my sunglasses anyhow, raise my fist through the sunroof and shout DAMN THE MAN!

Happy Halloween.

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stuff

Blogger now offers a thigamajig in the comments so that you can have follow up comments on a post emailed to you. So you’ll never have to wonder if you anyone replied to your reply to me.

Have I mentioned 100 Words before? Yes? Then I’m mentioning it again. Go. Write. Read.


A quiz on horror film deaths.

People helping people identify songs. So you no longer have to listen to your friend call you at 1am humming some damn pop song, asking you if you know what the hell he’s singing, because he sure as hell doesn’t and he can’t possibly fall asleep without knowing the title.

That’s the stuff.

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It’s getting cold out there (I had to scrape ice off my car windows this morning), which means I’ll be cooking a lot of soups and stews. I love fall/winter comfort foods.  One of my very favorite in that category is chili. I make a standard chili; some ground beef, lots of spicy seasoning, black beans, rooster sauce, tomato. Nothing spectacular. It’s always good, but I want to make something awesome.
 
I’ll take regular chili, 25 alarm chili, vegetarian chili, steak or turkey chili, white chili, whatever you got. Hit me with your best chili recipes and I’ll give them a go.
 
(By the way, we are having chicken again tonight, I’ll tell you what reader recipe I used after dinner)
 

 

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what’s grosser than gross?

Of all the stupid things that were on tv yesterday, we ended up watching the Krystal Square Off eating competition on ESPN. Granted, it only took about ten minutes of our time, but I feel like I need to do penance for those minutes.

I really don’t mind eating competitions as a whole. I did venture to Coney Island on the Fourth of July to get a glimpse of the hot dog eating contest. There are plenty of people who hate the contests because they promote gluttony and flaunt the excess of Americans and waste food in the face of world starvation and that’s why the terrorists hate us. Not for nothing, but there are millions of homeless people in America and that doesn’t stop me from adding unnecessary luxuries to my home, so hungry kids in Indonesia is not going to stop me from watching some guy shove back a gallon of chili in thirty seconds.

What does bother me about the whole IFOCE is that the people who partake in this stuff take themselves so seriously as to refer to themselves as athletes. Eating is not a sport. A competition, sure, but it’s not a sport, in much the same way that high school dance squads are not a sport. Yet ESPN wants you to believe they are, just so they can fill their programming slots with something besides paid advertisements from companies wanting to sell you souvenir coins imprinted with the number of your favorite NASCAR driver. Pounding back food, whether it be hot dogs or burgers or burritos or ice cream, is not a sport. Yes, it takes training and determination and discipline, but so does being a car bomber, and no one considers that a competitive sport.

So why did I watch this yesterday? Why do I ever watch any of these competitions? Sheer curiosity, I guess. I watch it in the same way one watches a freak show; you want to be disgusted by the bearded lady or the dog faced boy, but instead you are somewhat enthralled. Sure, you leave the freak tent feeling like you need to take a shower for having participated in that form of culture, but it was still entertainment. Which is much like I felt after watching the Krystal Square Off competitors eating their food.

While I’ve seen competitions like this before, I never really watched long enough to get the close up view I did yesterday. For instance, I didn’t know that the contestants dunked their food in drinks. The guy I picked as my favorite, the mowhawked Pat Bertoletti, was using some blood red fruit punch to soak his burgers. According to Todd, who knows way too much about competitive eating, they soak the food to take the air out of the bread, thus making it easier to get down.

First let’s establish that the thought of eating even ONE Krystal burger is enough to nauseate me. I’ve never had one, but they seem enough like White Castle burgers for me to take one look at a plate of them and have flashbacks to being absurdly drunk at 3am and making a bet that I could eat 25 sliders and ending up covered in vodka and burger vomit. So right away, I’m disgusted by this competition.

I might have been ok with it if it weren’t for the close ups. That’s when I got the real view of what these people are doing. Pat would dunk a burger into the red drink, squeeze it with his fist, then practically shove his whole fist into his mouth to stuff the dripping, soggy, red-tinged burger in there. I focused on Pat because of the color of his drink. For a second, it looked like he was a cannibal devouring a blood-soaked victim and I thought “hey, cool!”, until I saw all that water logged bread and meat dripping out of his mouth and squishing through his fingers. Worse than that was the dreadlocked guy whose burger bits got caught in his hair, or the old guy, because nothing is more disgusting than an old person with a face full of chewed up food.

I kept waiting for someone to vomit. That, by the way, is against the rules and referred to as a Reversal of Fortune. I was hoping if anyone reversed their fortune, it would be Pat, because that blood red puke would rival the scene from the Exorcist I watched the night before. About five minutes into the eight minute contest, I realized I might be the one puking if I didn’t look away. Thoughts of 1981 and White Castle burgers made my stomach turn, yet I couldn’t look away. This was better than any dog faced boy. I was rooting for a vomitorium. I was begging the God of Excess to unleash his brand of karma upon the entire IFOCE, and have everyone, from the eaters to the scorecard chicks to the little kids in the front row covered with ten different colors of chunky burger puke.

But it was not to be. When the eight minutes were up, Joey Chestnut had eaten a record 100 Krystal burgers to win the contest. I watched his face for signs of discomfort, like maybe he would just let it all go now that the show was over, but he was a true champion and held those burgers down while the tv cameras were still on him. What he did when they cut to commercial, I have no idea. But I do know his gut looked like it expanded to the size of a small elephant.

When it was all over, I chided myself for watching something so depraved, so revolting, so sickening. And then we turned the channel just in time to enjoy a movie scene which involved someone’s entrails being pulled out. Awesome.

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